Electronics and technology provider Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS – $86.36) said it has received a $316 million cost-plus-award-fee contract modification to build two payloads for the fourth and fifth weather satellites in the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System program. The contract was awarded to recently acquired Exelis Space Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Melbourne, Florida-based Harris, by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument produces high-resolution, three-dimensional temperature, pressure and moisture profiles used to enhance weather forecasting models. The first CrIS instrument is currently operational on the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite launched in 2011. The second CrIS instrument is scheduled for launch in early 2017 on board the JPSS-1 spacecraft. The third CrIS instrument is in development for the JPSS-2 spacecraft, scheduled for launch in 2021. The instruments provide vital data for numerical prediction models key to both short- and long-term weather forecasting and will be important for understanding climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña.
Harris shares are up 24.2% over the past 52-weeks, despite a lackluster stock market. The shares can be held in a well-diversified aggressive account for continued total return possibilities. The shares yield 2.36% at current levels.